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Senior A Twenty20 Final

Waitangi Day. What a day!

The advertising poster promised much. Heathcote Valley Domain was the place to be on Waitangi Day, 2014: bathed in sunshine, its crater-like ground ringed with enthusiastic supporters, and foot-tapping music rung out from the newly-refurbished pavilion that sat snuggly in the hillside. The host committee had ensured that all was set for a cracking match, and both teams delivered in spades on that advertising blurb!

Halswell won the toss and inserted Heathcote on a worn pitch with one minute boundary on this saucer of a ground. Englishman Matt House and Greg Puller opened for the hosts and looked comfortable in the early overs as they raced to 29 in less than four overs before Puller departed. Policeman Grant Stewart entered to the accompanying 60s song of “I fought the law and the law won” but Halswell showed no respect for the constabulary as he departed for a duck. Enter veteran John Garry who played an innings of some genuine class and, in combination with House, proceeded to assert their dominance over Halswell. However, at 78, House was bowled and left to the accompaniment of the theme from Coronation Street. A real momentum swing came with the fall of Garry’s wicket to his lone indiscretion and what looked like a formidable total now seemed a struggle. Dayle Eathorne was marshaling his bowlers well and led the charge with four wickets. He received able support from the wily Mike Chatterton who angled the ball in to good effect on the tired-looking pitch.

Heathcote managed 143 which looked probably 20 runs short of what they wanted and, for some time, what they would have expected to get.

This theory looked likely when Halswell’s Geoff Barclay opened his shoulders and swung like a village cricketer might, and to great effect. His four 6s and two boundaries had the visitors racing to 43 in just four overs as he found an able lieutenant in Eathorne. There was relief as Barclay heaved rustically across the line once too often and Umpire Wyeth answered the pleas of both bowler and crowd. It wasn’t until Captain Eathorne, caught at long off, departed to the tones of “Hit the road, Jack!” that the momentum was back with Heathcote.

As expected, Halswell wouldn’t lie down: 18 overs gone, 8 down, total 127, runs required 144. This was tailor-made for veteran Jason Pawson; as parsimonious as any medium pacer in Christchurch cricket. He was to claim that he got too much swing but two wides in his first three balls saw the nervous spectators strain forward in their seats and on the grassy banks. He tightened his line to concede only 7 runs. Ten runs needed; one over left but what of those short boundaries?

Craig Primmer, hero of the One Day final, local legend and captain, took it upon his own broad shoulders to bowl the last over to Mike Chatterton. The first ball clattered into the stumps of Chatts, followed by three quick singles and a dot ball. Fielders hugged each other; prematurely perhaps as 7 could be scored off the remaining ball. A scrambled 2 told the Heathcote Tavern that the shouts from up the valley meant a local victory… and the chance of claiming all three trophies available to this grade. Kris Rowe bowled well for his three wickets while Pawson and Dan Lamond took the pace off the ball to make shot-making difficult.

Not a match of great skill, it was rather more a busy match, one of real enthusiasm and one of great endeavour enjoyed by a crowd in good humour and good voice. This will be a memorable match to all who attended on Waitangi Day, 2014.

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Runs galore in Round Four

History was created at Burnside Oval in this round with Marist Harewood’s Jack Clark scoring a century in each innings of a Christchurch Premier club match. Only Sam Guillen, Brian Hastings, Max Bremner and Shanan Stewart have achieved this feat but what made this unique is that Jack carried his bat through both innings to score 114 not out and 110 not out. Jack, a left hand opener, is playing in Christchurch as a Durham exchange scholar and thoroughly deserves the Player of the Match Espresso Carwash award.

More runs came Greg Dawson’s way when St Albans played East Christchurch Shirley at Burwood. Greg produced a splendid innings at the end of Day 1 when he raced to his century in 155 balls with 16 boundaries and 1 six. Beautifully-timed cover drives and deft back cuts laced this left hander’s innings which set up St Albans in a strong position at the end of play. For good measure he led his team to an outright with another innings of substance with 65 not out. An Espresso Carwash voucher is coming Greg’s way.

Despite being on the losing side, Conrad Klintworth’s devastating spell of 6 for 27 off 9 overs was worthy of the Espresso Player of the Match when Riccarton hosted Sydenham at Upper Riccarton Domain. In the space of just over two overs he removed five of the Sydenham players who had no answer to the accurate inswing and seam of the right arm medium pacer. On a green but fair surface he removed the off stump of Humphries, and then proceeded to bowl a superb ball to hit the top of off stump to remove the experienced Robinson before bowling the hapless Day, Allen and Gardner.

In-form opening batsman for Old Boys Collegians, Abhi Shrikhande continued his excellent form with a fine batting double including his maiden Premier club century of 101 against LPW on an excellent Elmwood batting pitch. In a 130-ball innings which was punctuated by fluent driving on both sides of the wicket, Abhi stroked 16 boundaries on the lightning-fast outfield. His second innings effort of 47 not out allowed his skipper to set an outright target for the Park boys. It also allowed Abhi to claim his second Espresso Carwash award of the season.

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The Christchurch Metro XI have prevailed in an exciting encounter over the Royal Australian Airforce, at Beckenham Park on Sunday 9th February.

The RAAF batted first and after a solid start were well placed at 90/2.  This was mainly thanks to Kaleb Tymko, an Aircraft Technician, who scored an aggressive 53.  His departure led to a collapse, with six wickets falling for 20 runs.  The tail enders then combined to inch the score to 139 all out.  With the ball for the Christchurch Metro XI Jared Roberts had the best figures, with 4/27.  Nathan Columbus bowled his ten overs in one spell and took 2/31, while Matt McEwan took 2/21.  Dan Thomas and Ben Rapson picked up a wicket each.

Christchurch Metro were then reduced to 37/6 by some fine bowling by Michael Douglas, 2/24 and Jeremy Kirk, 3/33, but a partnership between Charles Grey (24) and Brad Gordon (31) got the home side back in contention.  Some lusty hitting by Dan Thomas, with support from Roberts, got Christchurch within site of victory, before Thomas departed, leaving Roberts and Columbus to eek out the final six runs.

Royal Australian Air Force 139/10 (K Tymko 53, A Bosworth 28, M Monaghan 20, J Roberts 4/27, M McEwan 2/21, N Columbus 2/30) lost to Christchurch Metro 140/9 (B Gordon 31, D Thomas 28, A Coleman 18, J Roberts 15*) by 1 wicket